Every now and then, when stories of successful entrepreneurs keep popping up as desktop notifications, we can not help but wonder how they got there - to be a desktop notification. We hear and read about this a lot in their stories - MVP. Most Valuable Player? Minimum Viable Product? Music Video Player? We can clearly rule out the third possibility. The funny thing about the first two is that both of them equally seems like a fit. You see a lot of ‘ go, get your MVP first!’ the second one - Most Valuable Player can be very misleading as it calls out for finding your partners for your software company first. But what every successful startup wants to tell is the opposite of this: Minimum Viable Product. Build your MVP before building your team! We will dive right into why we should listen to the above said.
MVP-MVP WHAT? MVP WHO?
MVP being a buzzword - and internet being available to all, the problem is that everyone tries to give their own definition of it. Getting 100 beta users, having the minimum set of features for your product, building a mock-up are some of the many definitions that come up often. After thinking about it all collectively, we have come to a conclusion that it is in the best intention to think of MVP as a processor or an idea rather than a product. But, how do you build a product with minimum features? For that you need to know how to jot down what the minimum features are going to be, along with what problem exactly you are going to solve and what your product will represent. Basically, it is an experiment set repeated again and again combining factors of assumption, risks, and feedback until you arrive at the one.
CB Insights reported that 42% startups fail because there was no market need. What does this show us? All these startups told themselves that their product is going to be needed - that their product is going to solve a problem(s). MVP offers to check if your assumptions about the product is right without having to take a big leap of risk.
EVERYONE LIKES IT BIG, BUT WHY START WITH AN MVP?
Test, test more and test a lot more. This is how building an MVP works. Before you dive into it, ask yourself this : Does your intended audience really have those problems your product offers to solve? Testing your product is easier than testing your team. The right-fit may not be interested, and the interested may not be the right fit. So, keep most of your focus on building your MVP, not your team! The idea of what your product should represent constantly changes along the way. The sooner you take feedback, the sooner you are progressing towards making it a market-fit. MVP is the way this is achieved with the least risk ever quoted. It is most likely that even your co-founders will fall into their places with your MVP in its place. A working MVP without a team is a big plus to attract your investors to invest in you.
Now that you have an MVP all good and most importantly working, how do you go about building a team, finding your partners? What do you look for in them? Do you get a CT scan of their brains and check for grey matter mapping to find out if both of you think the same way? You can, but we happen to have something easier and more reliable. Keep reading!
For this, first, you must establish what your strengths are in the partnership. Make sure they bring something complementary to the table: something that your product requires which you lack. You will see a lot of decisions making. Get partners who can provide you with fresh perspectives on your decision making.
Are they capable and dependable?
Before you blindly believe the teams that advertise themselves, run a first-hand check on the background, accomplishments, experience, and expertise. While technical certifications, to an extent, will help you filter out the under qualified, also dig out on the references cited by the team to get a clear picture. After this comes inefficiency, integrity, and honesty. Do they promise work delivery in a reasonable amount of time frame? Do they bend in or be rigid about changes? How much can you rely on them when there’s inaccuracy in their work? If you clearly evaluate all these traits of the ones in line for the respective positions, you will end up with a precise list of whom you should get onboard with.
How well they go with your idea, product and your existing team?
You can’t simply put together two halves of a different jigsaw puzzle hoping to miraculously end up with a great picture. It simply won’t. Especially, the lot at IT industry are not very smooth with building a good rapport with someone not from their kind. You require someone who is adept at interpersonal communication - for, after all, your product comes down to bringing in different people to represent one thing - your product.
With your MVP and your tech team in their places there’s only some market research, keeping your competition in check, securing your product, deciding on branding, getting your hands on digital marketing, learning about laws and license, finding an and furnishing your office, making financial projections, making budgets, working your network and generating buzz is all that is left to do. Just this and you are good to go. No-no! That is not the end, just the beginning!